Radio Discussions closes

Radio-DiscussionsIt’s not everyday yours truly reports about a message board, but this is one a lot of those in the industry participated in and lurked at: the Radio Discussions message boards, whose origins lie within the original Radio-Info site, abruptly closed its doors Tuesday with really little explanation or advanced notice.

An announcement regarding the site’s closure is what you’ll see when you visit Everything on the site has been wiped clean, meaning readers no longer have access to the boards.

Radio-Info was originally founded in 1999 as a message board by original principals Doug Fleming, Tanim Hussein, and Lance Venta. When Fleming passed away in 2005, the site was taken over by Fleming’s parents, and released all the original principals behind the site in 2006. Quality of the site nose-dived shortly afterward (as yours truly endlessly pointed out in this blog’s early years), but swung upward when it added industry insiders such as Tom Taylor and reporters from other radio trades. Radio-Info also added news items, commentary pieces, and cleaned up the message boards.

The boards featured not only a forum to discuss radio issues by region or city, but also several to discuss television topics, including classic TV.

After the senior Flemings retired last year, a rather complicated merger and sale split Radio-Info: the news portion was sold to the principals behind Talkers magazine; the boards were sold to Streamline Digital, Inc., owners of the RBR-TV/radio website who shut down the site Tuesday. “This was an economic decision”, said RBR exec T.J. Lambert in a statement on today. “Our intention was to offer Radio Discussions as an option to our advertisers but we found there was no interest and though we respect what Doug Fleming originally built, it simply does not make sense to pour cash into something with no prospect of revenue.”

Indeed, message boards have lost their luster over the years, losing posters to social media (mainly Twitter and Facebook) and comment sections as they have become the place to discuss numerous subjects.

As a result of today’s closure, the Radio Discussions link is in the process of being removed from the sidebar of this website.

So, is T Dog Media planning to launch a message board to fill the void left by Radio Discussions?

As enticing as it sounds, yours truly has no plans to launch a message board, since maintaining one would be difficult due to my hectic schedule (work, writing spec scripts, etc.). In fact, it’s been difficult just to maintain this site. Plus, T Dog Media doesn’t have the accessible tools to launch one.

But I do have some personal radio and TV message board recommendations – some of these I’ve posted on.

Radio Insight. After Lance Venta left Radio-Info in 2006, he launched Radio Insight as a news and discussion site – radio news have been broken here first more than anywhere else. His site is bound to pick up traffic due to the demise of Radio Discussions (registration is required to post.)

– Chicago Media Chat. Registration isn’t required, but this board gets a little wacky sometimes.

– Michigan Buzzboard. The best message board to discuss Michigan, Western Ontario, and Ohio (Toledo, mainly) radio and TV issues – and also other subjects such as sports, politics, and other radio markets in the Midwest, including Chicago. (Registration required.)

– TV Media Insights. Successor to the old, Marc Berman and Doug Pucci do a great job running this site. The message boards are full of knowledgeable posters about television and is one of the best in the business. (Registration required.)

– Sitcoms Online. Part of a larger news site, the message boards here discuss sitcoms from the 1950’s to the present day. Full TV schedules (such as a market’s local station) are even posted here. (Registration required.)

– Toon Zone. For you animation buffs (like me), the message boards are part of the larger site, and contain discussions ranging from kids shows to adult animation – not to mention Marvel, Disney, DC Comics, and classic Saturday morning cartoons – plus an entertainment board to discuss live-action TV shows. (Registration required – and you need to go through a verification process to post.)

[Editor’s Note: I have decided to remove Chicagoland Radio and Media’s site from this list. There were some posters over there who were actually celebrating the demise of Radio Discussions. This was the same place that removed T Dog Media off its RSS feeds. I refuse to promote any site that I do not have respect for. -T.H.]

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